Sometimes referred to as compliance software, reporting tech, enterprise ethics platforms, or even ‘online hotlines’ – digital whistleblowing solutions offer a way for organisations to manage the secure, anonymous, discreet reporting of ethical issues as they are encountered, and a key tool for creating an environment in which employees are supported to speak up about wrongdoing they encounter in the workplace.
Walking the talk
Whistleblowing software can help organisations solve multiple ethical issues in one fell swoop. A recognised tech solution can form the functional centerpiece of a company’s clearly-defined ethical policy and help demonstrate an organisation’s commitment to an open, fair company culture.
Offering a single, centralised database of reporting information, a clear paper trail for every submission, and evidence of how submissions have been followed-up internally – not to mention automated reporting and analysis functionality – whistleblowing software offers genuine insight into how an organisation addresses, bullying, harassment, fraud and misconduct.
Whistleblowing software is cost effective
About 5% of an organisation’s revenue is estimated to be lost due to fraud each year.
The presence of anti-fraud controls however is closely associated with lower losses from fraud and quicker fraud detection.
Increasingly, tip offs come by way of email (33%) or web-based forms (32%), and less via telephone hotlines (33%), according to ACFE’s Report to the Nations 2022.
“The best way to stop occupational fraud remains something available to all organisations,” says the ACFE.
“With their high success rate and low implementation cost, all organisations should have a tip hotline or mechanism to report fraud,” says the report.
“While in the past hotlines were phone lines that employees could call to anonymously report fraud, hotlines today can include forms on a webpage or a special e-mail set up to collect tips.”
Confidentiality is crucial
Employees don’t speak up because they fear retaliation. Removing that barrier is key to healthy workplaces.
“It is now widely accepted in society that misconduct within organisations should be combatted, but many organisations continue to view whistleblowers as traitors and respond to their actions with retaliation,” notes Deloitte.
“Consequently, only by operating effective, confidential and secure whistleblowing systems that employees/partners can have confidence in, knowing that both their disclosures and their person will be dealt with appropriately, can provide organisations with financial and moral benefits.”
Platform-, web portal or cloud-based whistleblowing systems offer a secure, effective, confidential solution, enhancing psychological safety for employees, and providing a platform by which employees can talk about their concerns without fear that they will be targeted, called-out or embarrassed for speaking up.
Often employees are seeking support and guidance on what the correct steps should take to raise their concerns. Whistleblowing software offers a clear, bast-practice pathway for those making a report, removing ambiguity and increasing the number of submissions an organisation receives.
Full service whistleblowing software solutions such as EthicsPro by Report It Now puts reporters in contact with trained protected disclosures officer who can provide them with both support and advice.
EthicsPro provides reassurance for those making submissions and ensures accountability during the investigation and followup process, confirming that informed and appropriate responses result from every submission.
Whistleblowing software simplifies compliance
Around the world, employers are under increasing obligations to protect those who speak up about wrongdoing in the workplace.
Recent Whistleblowing legislation, such as 2019’s EU Whistleblower Directive, New Zealand’s Protection of Whistleblowers Act, Australia’s updated whistleblower protection regime under the Corporations Act 2001 (as well as its host state-level regulations), and myriad other legal frameworks around the world, place the onus on organistions to support whistleblowers and protect them from retribuition.
Whistleblowing technology helps remove the barriers to speaking up, simplifying the submission process. This in turn increases the rate of submissions, and ultimately improves workplace transparency.
Multiple solutions are best
Ethical reporting channels should reflect employees’ communication habits. Offering a range of acknowledged, acceptable reporting channels helps remove the stigma attached to speaking up and contributes to creating healthier, more ethical places of business.
Creating more ethical workplaces with whistleblowing software
Leaders can foster more ethical environment and drive accountability within their organisations by promoting speak up initiatives in house, ‘walking the talk’ and providing the tools for speaking plainly about how business is being done.
Talk to Report It Now about how a customised whistleblowing software solution can help create safer, fairer workplaces. Contact us for a free, confidential assessment.